The Kalamazoo Wings (6-10-0-2) did not have much to be thankful for over the Thanksgiving holiday. After falling to the Indy Ice on Wednesday by a score of 5-3, the K-Wings fell to Fort Wayne by a score of 6-1 on Thursday.
Completing their five-game road trip, the K-Wings returned home on Friday to host the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.
The K-Wings fell behind early as Greenville scored three first period goals. Just over two minutes into the opening frame, Greenville caused a K-Wing turnover that resulted in their first goal of the game. Trevor Gerling passed the puck to Angelo Micelli who fired the puck into the net for his third goal of the season.
A power play goal by Michael Joly at the 17:29 mark of the period gave Greenville a 2-0 lead. Just 52 seconds later, Greenville added their third goal of the period as Paul Zanette put the Swamp Rabbits up by a 3-0 margin.
Opening the second period with a goal, Joly struck again for his second of night, for a 4-0 lead. The goal by Joly ended the night for K-Wing goaltender Nick Riopel, who was pulled in favor of Joel Martin.
Three and a half minutes after the goaltender replacement, Joly showed he was not partial to the goaltenders as he pushed in a rebound from Spiro Goulakos, whose slap shot was kicked away by Martin. The goal gave Joly a hat-trick and Greenville a 5-0 lead.
The K-Wings finally hit the scoreboard early in the final period as Blake Hietala sent a Scott Henegar shot into the net to make it a 5-1 game. Three minutes later, the K-Wings struck again courtesy of Tyler Biggs. The winger darted into the Greenville zone and twisted a heavy slap shot that sailed through the pads of Swamp Rabbits’ goalie Jeff Malcolm and into the net.
Greenville halted Kalamazoo’s momentum later in the period, as Zannette notched his second of the night with a deflection that initially hit the post, but caromed off the skate of Martin and over the line, capping off a 6-2 victory for the visitors.
The K-Wings next game will be this Wednesday, November 30th as they head to Elmira, New York to take on the Jackals at First Arena. Game time is 7:05 pm.
K-Wings News and Notes: Kalamazoo have lost a season-high five straight games… Hietala’s goal was his first career ECHL tally in his 19th career ECHL appearance… Riopel surrendered nine goals on 13 shots before he was replaced… Kalamazoo’s power play went 0/3 and the penalty kill was 4/6… Kalamazoo have given up five or more goals in four straight games.
Submitted by Mark McGlothlen